FARGO, N.D. — Obenson Blanc has been named head assistant wrestling coach at North Dakota State University. NDSU head wrestling coach Roger Kish made the announcement on Friday.
“I am very excited about this opportunity to help bring my skill sets to a program on the rise, its wonderful community, and student-athletes. I am lucky to have spent five years in Raleigh amongst a great staff and some of the most incredible young individuals you will encounter,” said Blanc, a native of Naples, Fla.
Blanc has been an assistant coach at NC State since the summer of 2014 following a successful freestyle career that included making five consecutive U.S. National Teams from 2009 to 2013. At the peak of his career, Blanc was a three-time Pan-American finalist, two-time U.S. Open and U.S. World Team Trials Champion in 2010 and 2013, and an alternate for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
While at NC State, Blanc mentored a pair of NCAA champions, 10 All-Americans, and 10 ACC champions, as well as 18 NWCA Scholar All-Americans under the direction of head coach Pat Popolizio. He played a major role in the Wolfpack’s rocket ascension in the wrestling landscape during his time in Raleigh. NC State placed fourth at the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships and also captured ACC tournament titles in 2016 and 2019. That 2016 Wolfpack team finished the regular season ranked No. 2 in the nation with a 23-1 dual record.
Blanc served as head coach for the Wolfpack Wrestling Club from 2017-19. He led the WWC to a runner-up finish at the 2018 U.S. Open and helped every club member to qualify for the World Team Trials Challenge. The Wolfpack Wrestling Club has produced multiple World Team Members including Nick Gwiazdowski (2018, 2019), Hayden Hidlay (2018), Sean Fausz (2018), Trent Hidlay (2019), as well as two additional Senior Freestyle Team members in Nick Reenan and Michael Macchiavello.
“I look forward to helping student-athletes find success on the mats, excelling in their academic affairs, as well mentorship in their personal lives. It is important that our future leaders can effectively manage, plan, and deliver results while under pressure to perform in the classroom and on the mats,” said Blanc. “As a coach I have learned to be a mentor, friend, and sometimes a temporary parent to make sure that there is a 360 approach towards the students that I serve and look forward to bringing that NDSU.”
Blanc wrestled collegiately at both Lock Haven and Oklahoma State. In 2007 at Lock Haven, he earned All-America honors after finishing sixth at the NCAA Championships. He finished his college career at Oklahoma State, qualifying for his fourth NCAA tournament but falling one win shy of earning All-America status at the 2009 NCAA Championships. For his collegiate career, Blanc compiled a 118-41 record with 25 pins.
Blanc earned his bachelor’s degree in sports administration from Lock Haven in 2008, and received his master’s degree in international business from Oklahoma State in 2010.
Obenson and his wife, Kristi, have two daughters, Elliana and Zoa.
North Dakota State compiled a 10-6 record overall in 2018-19 including 5-4 in Big 12 Conference duals. NDSU placed eighth at the 2019 Big 12 Conference tournament. The Bison return NCAA qualifiers 133 Cam Sykora, 165 Andrew Fogarty and 174 Lorenzo De La Riva. Fogarty is a two-time Big 12 runner-up at 165 pounds.